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Convert a laptop's Enter key into Forward Delete Apps
As a PC user who recently switched to using a Mac laptop, I've had to learn all the differences in the keyboard keys and shortcuts. The addition of the Command key, lack of a true Delete (forward delete) key, the Option key, etc. One in particular sent me on the hunt for a solution: not having a single button for forward delete for some reason seemed really annoying to me (despite being able to use Fn-Backspace to do this).

After looking around for a while, I discovered a freeware program called DoubleCommand that will do exactly this, and much more. DoubleCommand is a key mapping (or more appropriately, key REmapping) program originally designed for old PowerBooks that was created to add a secomd Command key, hence the name DoubleCommand. It's very powerful and user-friendly; check it out to add lots of nice tweaks.

[robg adds: We mentioned DoubleCommand way back in October of 2001, but with the number of "where's the forward delete key on my MB/MBP?" questions I've been receiving from recent switchers, I figured it was worth a re-mention. If you're a laptop user, it's definitely worth a look.]
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Convert a laptop's Enter key into Forward Delete | 13 comments | Create New Account
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Convert a laptop's Enter key into Forward Delete
Authored by: Anonymous on Jan 29, '07 05:08:00AM

You can of course hold down the fn key and use the delete key. This will turn the key into forward delete.

I must admit thats what i do now.....i did use double command but it went a bit haywire after an os update, so stopped using it.



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Convert a laptop's Enter key into Forward Delete
Authored by: kikan on Jan 29, '07 05:21:09AM

I use DoubleCommand to map alt key on the enter key.

It make it easier to type |, , or [] {}, as I only have to put the right thumb on enter key and press the other key with other fingers or the left hand.

---
Christian



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Convert a laptop's Enter key into Forward Delete
Authored by: imacpr0n on Jan 29, '07 06:26:51AM

Emacs control-key commands work in most text-entry contexts on the Macintosh:

Control-d: delete char forward
Control-f: move forward char
Control-b: move backward char
Control-a: move to beginning of line
Control-e: move to end of line
Control-n: move to next line
Control-p: move to previous line



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Convert a laptop's Enter key into Forward Delete
Authored by: Hal Itosis on Jan 30, '07 05:58:10PM

and also...

control-K (kill line): deletes FORWARD from cursor to the end of the line!

-HI-



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Why add a software layer...?
Authored by: ndifranco on Jan 29, '07 06:31:43AM

I'm with savage...the Fn key combination works great for me on my PB 12". I'm always wary of adding additional software to accomplish something that's readily available.



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Why add a software layer...?
Authored by: ctierney on Jan 29, '07 07:48:09AM

I totally agree. I try to make an effort to use default functionality whenever possible. Like it or not, there's usually a sensible reason for the defaults. Also makes using someelse's mac or moving into a new mac a lot easier in the long run.



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Why add a software layer...?
Authored by: gshenaut on Jan 29, '07 09:04:41AM

When I first switched (from FreeBSD), I tried several software packages to try to "fix" the PB keyboard, but these fixes seem always to take place in the grey zone between supported & unsupported parts of the kernel API, and as a result, are very fragile and frequently do not survive updates or upgrades. When the ability to turn off the d--ned caps-lock function was finally given us by Apple, I got rid of all the add-ins and just live with the standard stuff.

Greg Shenaut



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Convert a laptop's Enter key into Forward Delete
Authored by: metiure on Jan 29, '07 07:22:57AM

or you can use Butler and assign the Enter Key the key you want (and so much other things).



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Convert a laptop's Enter key into Forward Delete
Authored by: JeffMandell on Jan 29, '07 12:10:46PM

I've been using Macs for 20 years.
I find it amazing that we're all still doing work-arounds for this.
Why hasn't Apple just put damn forward delete key on the keyboard?



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Convert a laptop's Enter key into Forward Delete
Authored by: build6 on Jan 29, '07 01:28:36PM

over the years i've heard many many compliants about the enter key on a PB - that it's "useless" and takes up valuable real estate for a laptop. Thing is, I don't find it useless at all.

While I also would like a forward delete key, I wouldn't trade the enter key for it (I'd trade the 2nd command key).

The enter key is very useful for accepting the default, highlighted button on dialogs - the reason it's the default is because it really IS the most commonly used one).

That's also what hitting "return" does, BUT the return key is a lot further off when you're manipulating the touchpad with your index finger and your thumb is on the touchpad button.

If you use your touchpad like that (as opposed to doing everything with your thumb, for example), then whenever you hit a web page that presents you with a dialog (going to SSL, for example), you either have to mouse over to the "ok" (or "cancel"), or you have to move your whole hand up and further away to hit return - or you can just tap the "enter" key right there, about an inch away from my touchpad on my PB. Both the other options require a lot more hand-movement than using the Enter key.

I can't be certain, but it's my guess that's why the designers placed the key there.

I can't be the only person using it for this purpose, can I?



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Convert a laptop's Enter key into Forward Delete
Authored by: osxpounder on Jan 30, '07 03:48:33PM

I wish there were an update-proof way to change that Enter into an Option key [a way that survives software updates], because I'm left-handed, and I'd like to have the Option key on the right.

I'm used to reaching across anyway, though, since my desktop Macs use curvy, ergonomic and comfy Microsoft keyboards. I can't get a right-side Option key on those, either, without installing something like DoubleCommand.



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DoubleCommand disables most keys after Transfer
Authored by: ppp on Jul 29, '09 08:57:13AM

I recently had a frustrating problem after using Migration Assistant to move from an older MacBook Pro to a new one. DoubleCommand apparently doesn't know about the latest keyboard on the MacBook Pro, and disabled or problematically remapped most keys. The symptoms were unresponsive keys, locked up applications after pressing certain keys (Force Quit and Command-Tab worked to get out of these situations).

Fortunately I was able to disable DoubleCommand without the use of the keyboard. Removing the Preference Pane and the /Library/Startup Items folder, then restarting were all that was necessary.



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Convert a laptop's Enter key into Forward Delete
Authored by: asmeurer on Jul 29, '09 09:51:36AM

Also take a look at KeyRemap4MacBook. It has quite a few more remappings than DoubleCommand. The two are incompatible with each other though, so you have to pick one.



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